* Q2 revenue $256 mln (I/B/E/S poll $256 mln
* Q2 adj EPS $0.30 (poll $0.29
* Shares extend gains, up 6.2 percent
(CEO comments, analyst reaction, updates shares)
By Paul Sandle and Georgina Prodhan
LONDON, July 27 Software firm Autonomy
posted a 16 percent jump in quarterly sales on Wednesday,
providing more evidence that technology for businesses is more
resilient than sales to consumers in an economically fragile
The UK company said growth was driven by cloud computing, in
which it manages data storage and processing for customers
remotely -- which also gives Autonomy a clearer outlook because
it has long-term contracts with recurring revenues.
Cambridge-based Autonomy counts Tesco and Proctor & Gamble
among a long list of major corporate customers that use its
software to search and organise unstructured data like emails
and telephone calls.
Its shares rose sharply following the results, and by 1204
GMT they were up 6.2 percent at 1759 pence, the biggest riser in
the FTSE 100 and outperforming a 0.4 percent-stronger
European technology index .
Analyst George O'Connor at Panmure Gordon said Autonomy had
delivered a "cracking set of numbers".
"What we've seen in terms of the reporting season is that
consumer-related companies are starting to suffer a little
bit... but Autonomy is one of those big beasts in the B2B
world... and businesses are spending on tech," he said.
Autonomy Chief Executive Mike Lynch said the rapid rise in
its cloud business, for both its "protect" applications that
help companies comply with data regulations and its "promote"
marketing products, was behind the "strong quarter".
"We are continuing to see good discretionary spend and
that's driving our promote business," he said in an interview.
"On the protect side, we are seeing more and more
regulations come in, so we are seeing more deals there."
"Our model that we are seeing a gentle sustained recovery
seems to be reasonable."
Lynch said the growth trend, as well as its acquisition of
assets from Iron Mountain completing quicker than expected,
meant forth-quarter profits would beat current expectations, and
its 2012 prospects would continue to improve.
Analysts currently expect fourth-quarter earnings per share
of $0.37, according to the company.
Goldman Sachs said they expected the results to have a
positive share price impact, given the encouraging underlying
metrics -- particularly related to the cloud business, where
they see scope for significant acceleration.
Other technology firms have also been upbeat on prospects.
Germany's SAP said on Tuesday it would reach the high
end of its forecasts for the year, echoing comments from peer
Fellow enterprise software maker Sage also reported
solid trading on Wednesday, as did IT services firm Atos Origin
Autonomy, which also counts governments as customers, said
product revenues for its core IDOL algorithm products grew 15
percent, slightly slower than in the first quarter as cloud
revenues are recognised over a longer period.
Total sales rose 16 percent to $256 million, in line with
expectations, while earnings per share of $0.30 were slightly
ahead of expectations.
(Additional reporting by Tricia Wright. Editing by Jane